October 30, 2013
Publishers Weekly just ran an article about contracts and book formats that affects anyone looking for a traditional deal.
Agents (most speaking anonymously) are concerned that contracts will soon come with clauses that make no guarantee on format. In fact, according to agent and e-book publisher Richard Curtis, that's already the case with big houses that are releasing e-originals.
For a new author, this can hit hard. Traditional publishing royalties are generally higher for print as opposed to e-books. That means less money for you.
But unless your contract stipulates otherwise, a publisher can test a digital version of your book before deciding if it's worth investing in print.
Since I expect to be going the indie route, this isn't a big issue for me. However, if I were looking for an agent, it would be huge. Why sign away my rights when distribution may be limited?
What are your thoughts? Would you sign a contract that doesn't guarantee a hardcover or paperback edition?